Launch Coverage

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Virtual Launch Control Center - NOAA-N
Archived coverage of the successful second launch attempt of NOAA-N on May 20, 2005.

All times are in EDT unless otherwise stated.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was activated at 4:00 a.m. EDT.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was deactivated at 7:45 a.m. EDT. Thank you for joining us for NASA's online launch coverage of NOAA-N!

7:45 a.m. - 1 hour and 24 minutes since liftoff and all systems are performing nominally. The spacecraft appears to be in a near-perfect orbit!

7:44 a.m. - Data has been received that confirms deployment of NOAA-N's power-generating solar arrays.

Did You Know?
The NOAA-N satellite is equipped with a Search and Rescue transponder to relay emergency locator transmitter signals received from the ground.

7:27 a.m. - We have spacecraft separation of NOAA-N from the launch vehicle!

7:23 a.m. - SECO II is confirmed after re-ignition of the engine.

7:20 a.m. - These two stations will provide data of the re-start and burn of the second stage; Malindi will also confirm spacecraft separation.

7:19 a.m. - We have switched to the Malindi Tracking station in Kenya and have confirmation that they are now receiving NOAA-N's signal.

7:13 a.m. - The spacecraft telemetry lab has reported that we have reacquired a signal from the spacecraft.

7:11 a.m. - 48 minutes and 38 seconds since liftoff. We are standing by to receive spacecraft communications via the Hartebeesthoek tracking station in South Africa.

Did You Know?
NOAA polar operational environmental satellites collect global data on cloud cover; surface conditions such as ice, snow, and vegetation; atmospheric temperatures; and moisture, aerosol, and ozone distributions.

6:53 a.m. - NOAA-N will now be in an unpowered "coast phase" for approximately 15 minutes.

6:48 a.m. - All is going as expected as NOAA-N passes 28 minutes in flight.

6:38 a.m. - The spacecraft is now traveling over the South Pole and is currently out of communication. We expect to regain a signal in a few minutes as we fly over the coast of South Africa.

Did You Know?
NOAA-N will launch into an afternoon orbit - the satellite will cross the Equator northbound in the afternoon.

6:37 a.m. - NOAA-N has been in flight for 14 minutes and 38 seconds.

6:33 a.m. - We have confirmed cutoff of the second stage engine (SECO).

6:28 a.m. - The launch vehicle is now at an altitude of 100 nautical miles and traveling at a speed of 11,700 mph.

6:27 a.m. - The official liftoff time of NOAA-N was 6:22:01.566 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

6:26 a.m. - First stage systems are performing as expected... we have Main Engine Cut Off (MECO).

6:24 a.m. - The Delta II has reach an altitude of 24 miles, is 9.9 miles downrange and traveling at 2,400 mph.

6:23 a.m. - Solid rocket motor jettison has been confirmed.

6:22 a.m. - The launch vehicle has past mach 1 and is looking good.

6:22 a.m. - T-10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1 and liftoff of the Delta rocket carrying NOAA-N, observing the weather over land, over the ocean, within the atmosphere and in space.

6:21 a.m. - T-60 second and the range is cleared for launch.

6:20 a.m. - T-2 minutes and counting.

6:18 a.m. - The NASA Launch Manager has conducted a final launch readiness poll to come out of the T-4 hold. All systems are go and we are ready for an on-time launch. We are at T-4 minutes and counting.

6:14 a.m. - The Launch Conductor has just briefed the team with final instructions for launch.

6:12 a.m. - The launch team is ready to proceed with the terminal countdown and final launch poll.

6:11 a.m. - The NOAA-N spacecraft is on internal power.

6:07 a.m. - T-4 minutes and holding. This is a 10-minute built-in hold.

6:06 a.m. - Weather conditions at Vandenberg Air Force Base are go for launch.

6:01 a.m. - T-10 minutes, 40 seconds and counting.

Did You Know?
NOAA-N has a 10-minute launch window.

5:52 a.m. - The hold is released and we are at T-20 minutes and counting.

5:51 a.m. - The NASA Launch Manager has completed his polls and has directed the launch team to continue with the countdown.

5:48 a.m. - There are 3 minutes remaining in the T-20 minute hold.

5:34 a.m. - The weather briefing is completed and we are clear to proceed towards launch.

5:33 a.m. - The final launch weather briefing is underway.

5:32 a.m. - T-20 minutes and holding. This is the start of a 20-minute built-in hold.

5:29 a.m. - First stage Helium checks are now complete.

5:28 a.m. - First stage slew checks are in process.

5:25 a.m. - The slew checks are underway and the second stage checks are complete.

Did You Know?
Main Engine Cut Off (MECO) will happen approximately 264 seconds after liftoff of the Delta II rocket. MECO happens when the booster propellants are depleted.

5:20 a.m. - T-31 minutes and counting. Engine gimbal steering checks (slew checks) are due to begin shortly.

5:08 a.m. - The liquid Oxygen 'fill and drain' valve is cycled every 30 minutes to verify proper operation.

5:06 a.m. - The propulsion team is cycling the first stage "fill and drain" valve. This is the initial test after liquid Oxygen loading has finished.

5:02 a.m. - Loading LOX is now complete.

5:00 a.m. - The LOX rapid load has closed and the fine load has opened to continue to 100%.

4:59 a.m. - LOX loading is now 95% complete.

4:57 a.m. - LOX loading has been underway for 18 minutes.

4:55 a.m. - We are T-56 minutes into the countdown towards liftoff of NOAA-N.

4:50 a.m. - LOX loading is proceeding as expected.

Did You Know?
NOAA-N will be launched by NASA using a two-stage Boeing Delta II 7320-10 space launch vehicle.

4:44 a.m. - We are 6 minutes, 30 seconds into LOX loading.

4:39 a.m. - LOX loading is underway.

4:37 a.m. - The Launch Manager has given a go to begin liquid Oxygen (LOX) loading.

4:32 a.m. - The flight area has been secured for launch.

4:24 a.m. - NASA Launch Director Omar Baez is conducting a poll of the NASA team for status of Cryo Tanking and readiness to proceed.

4:23 a.m. - We are at T-88 minutes and counting.

4:20 a.m. - In the event of a 24-hour delay there is a 30% chance of weather issues at launch time.

4:18 a.m. - We are at T-95 minutes and counting. The launch weather officer Capt. Paul Lucyk has given his weather briefing. Currently there are no weather watches or warnings. We are forecasting a zero percent weather constraint at launch time.

4:16 a.m. - There are no problems being addressed at this time and we are on schedule for a 6:22 a.m. PDT launch.

4:15 a.m. - Propellant tank pressurization onboard the Delta II rocket is complete. We are at T-97 minutes and counting.

4:12 a.m. - A weather briefing will be conducted at T-95 minutes.

4:11 a.m. - The launch team has received confirmation that the Tracking and Date Relay System is ready to support launch.

4:04 a.m. - The mobile service structure was retracted at 8 p.m. last evening. 10:30 p.m. was the call to station for the launch team.

 George Diller and NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez
Interview With Omar Baez
George Diller interviews NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez after the flawless launch of NOAA-N.
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 George Diller and NOAA-N Program Manager Martin Davis
Recap With Martin Davis
George Diller interviews Martin Davis about early results from the NOAA-N spacecraft.
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 Animation still image of spacecraft separation
Spacecraft Separation
The NOAA-N spacecraft successfully separates from the Delta II launch vehicle.
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 George Diller and NOAA-N Program Manager Martin Davis
Interview With Martin Davis
George Diller interviews NOAA-N Program Manager Martin Davis.
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 Solid rockets separate from Delta II launch vehicle
Solid Rocket Booster Jettison and MECO
From the telemetry lab, Marc Levigne confirms solid rocket burnout and jettison, followed by main engine cut-off (MECO).
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 The pre-dawn liftoff of a Boeing Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N satellite lights the sky.
Liftoff of NOAA-N!
The pre-dawn liftoff of the Boeing Delta II rocket carrying the NOAA-N satellite lights the sky.
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 Delta II and launch tower during tower rollback
Tower Rollback
The launch tower is rolled away from the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle.
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 Weather radar image
Promising Forecast
Capt. Paul Lucyk, launch weather officer, gives a favorable weather forecast.
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 Delta II engines during slew checks
Engine Slew Checks
Engine slew checks are performed on the first and second stages of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle.
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 George Diller and NASA Mission Integration Manager Dave Breedlove
Interview With Dave Breedlove
George Diller interviews NASA Mission Integration Manager Dave Breedlove.
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 George Diller and Karen Halterman
Interview With Karen Halterman
George Diller interviews Spacecraft Project Manager Karen Halterman.
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 NOAA-N animation still image
Interview With Mike Mignogno
George Diller interviews NOAA-N Program Manager Mike Mignogno.
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 George Diller and Dr. Woodrow Whitlow
Welcome to Coverage
Coverage begins with an interview of Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Deputy Director of Kennedy Space Center.
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